IRELAND – Ongoing delays and upcoming minimum wage increase
There continue to be significant delays in obtaining appointments for Irish Residence Permit (IRP) registration for non-EEA nationals in Dublin. The delays are expected to persist for at least the rest of this year. There have been press reports of appointments being harvested by software programmers and offered for sale to foreign nationals.
The IRP, like the previous GNIB, applies to all non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss nationals, aged 16 years or over, who wish to stay in Ireland for any reason for longer than 90 days.
Applications submitted under the Trusted Partner Scheme are currently being processed in 6 weeks (previously 2-4 weeks). Meanwhile, standard non-Trusted Partner applications are taking up to 15 weeks (previously 6-8 weeks) to be processed.
In addition, immigration agents are reporting greater push-back from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) on employment permit applications, with an increased number of refused applications, especially in the ICT sector.
Finally, the minimum wage in Ireland will increase by 25% from 1 January 2019, from EUR 9.55 to EUR 9.80. This increase could affect those assignees on low salaries on Intra Company Transfer and Atypical Working Scheme employment permits.
- Employment Permit applicants and their employers should allow for significantly longer processing times and the upcoming minimum wage increase.
- Travel plans should be postponed where possible until the IRP appointment has been booked to avoid the need to reschedule travel or IRP appointments. Assignees should never travel without an up-to-date IRP Card.
- Non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss nationals aged 16 years or over, who wish to stay in Ireland for any reason for longer than 90 days, should book the next available appointment with the immigration authorities for IRP registration.
- Appointment holders are advised not to request their appointment is rescheduled, as this may put them at the back of the queue.